Many politicians don’t talk much about reforming huge entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare because it’s too easy for opponents to paint economizers — falsely — as wanting to “hurt senior citizens.” Elected officials just don’t consider it worth the political risk, even though the entitlement programs are headed toward bankruptcy.
So it was refreshing when the no-nonsense Republican governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, stated in stark terms exactly what is on the minds of many people. Speaking at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, he said it is time to stop the “dangerous” Washington game of avoiding the issue.
Then he made these electrifying, candid remarks:
“We need to say these things, and we need to say them out loud. When we say we’re cutting spending, when we say everything is on the table, when we say we mean entitlement programs, we should be specific.
“And let me tell you what is the truth. What’s the truth that nobody’s talking about? Here is the truth that nobody’s talking about: You’re going to have to raise the retirement age for Social Security. Oh, I just said it and I’m still standing here! I did not vaporize into the carpeting and I said it!
“We have to reform Medicare because it costs too much and it is going to bankrupt us. Once again, lightning did not come through the windows and strike me dead. And we have to fix Medicaid because it’s not only bankrupting the federal government, it’s bankrupting every state government.
“There you go. If we’re not honest about these things, on the state level about pensions and benefits and on the federal level about Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, we are on the path to ruin.”
Exactly! But how much evidence do you see that Congress and President Barack Obama are being “honest” about the need to reform our unsound entitlement programs?
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